Fewer Online Sportsbooks Could Be Headed For North Carolina Due To New Rules

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated

Even before the market goes live, significant changes have been made to the North Carolina sports betting industry. The state budget has been approved, changing the sports betting operator licensing rules. Local pro teams and sports venues now have a say in which operators gain licenses for North Carolina sports betting apps.

Changes Made To NC Sports Betting Rules

The recently approved budget changes language in the sports betting bill. Initially, the measure allowed 12 mobile operators to launch in the Tar Heel State. Not only has that 12-operator cap been altered, but the process of gaining a license has also changed.

Under the new rules, North Carolina sports betting operators need to partner with a local pro team or sports venue to be eligible for a license in the state.

Adding up the total number of professional teams (five), motorsport facilities (two), professional golf courses (two), and the PGA Tour and NASCAR, 11 total NC sportsbook licenses are available. This decreases the number of potential operators in North Carolina initially proposed.

North Carolina operators will now need to partner with one of the following:

  • A local professional sports team (Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC, Charlotte Hornets, NC Courage)
  • A motorsports facility operator (Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway)
  • An operator of multiple motorsport races a year in the state (NASCAR)
  • A professional golf facility operator (Sedgefield Country Club, Quail Hollow Country Club)
  • An operator of professional golf tournaments (PGA Tour)

Budget Changes Affect Retail Sportsbooks As Well

In the new state budget, operators aiming to open retail sportsbooks will now also need a written agreement with a local pro team or venue. The agreement would allow operators to open retail locations at local stadiums, similar to markets like Ohio and Arizona.

The language in the budget does not cap the amount of total sportsbook licenses. Expanding a pro team into NC would create another licensing opportunity for operators, making the state an appealing market for pro teams.

North Carolina Sports Betting Launch Progress

This budget change is another example of the progress being made for the market launch. With a newly established operator licensing process, regulators can set the final rules based on how operators will apply for market access.

NC has also recently partnered with GLI to aid with the launch of sports betting. Potential operators can also register online for email updates regarding the licensing process. North Carolina betting apps will be here sooner rather than later.